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Key Capitol Hill Hearings

Series/Special. Speeches from policy makers and coverage from around the country. (Stereo)

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United States 29, Connecticut 18, U.s. 14, Michelle 11, Iran 10, Afghanistan 10, Us 10, Nato 10, North Koreans 9, Asia 9, China 8, North Korea 7, Michele 5, Aspen 4, Chuck Hagel 4, East Asia 4, Navy 4, Pentagon 4, Philip 3, Israel 3,
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  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Series/Special. Speeches from policy makers  
   and coverage from around the country. (Stereo)  

    December 2, 2013
    12:00 - 2:01pm EST  

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that question, but i was going to make this point, that the saudis have made a statement which was much more moderate and much more, much more measured. i'm sure they are not particularly happy about this. but on the other hand, for a lot of reasons, clearly they are not going to want to identify with what netanyahu is saying. it's serving does not look good in their domestic political agenda or in the arab world's political agenda for these two to be lining up together. >> i had one point. i'm not an expert on saudi arabia but i think it is quite clear that there's been some interesting perhaps contradicted a fear by the saudis. .. council seat. it indicates there are some
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significant divisions within the saudi elite right now, within the government. contradictoryhe messages may continue and may not signal much more than that they are not sure what to do. >> the gentleman back there. larry feinberg. how does this agreement differ from the agreement they negoti from the agreements negotiated the last 20 years or so? >> i'm going to take that because i've actually covered north korea. you know, there are two and allergies that come up all the time. one is 1938 unique but not seize, which is ridiculous on so many levels. iran is not not see germany. the other is north korea.
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>> [inaudible] >> yeah. the nature of the regime's are different but also, the agreements are different. look, in some sense of the argument that one hears is the north koreans cheated and therefore the iranians will cheat. let's look with the agreed framework was about. this was the 1994 agreement clinton reached with kim jong ill. they agreed to mothball the plutonium are wracked need coke reactor -- plutonium reactor that would be built primarily by the united states for let's see, how many years? almost ten years the agreement actually worked. to the extent of the north koreans kept their plutonium reactor mothballed the united states delivered heavy fuel oil, however the u.s. deliveries were often late because congress often would not appropriate the
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money on time. this was a perpetual problem with the koreans talked about you and the light water reactors when they began construction they were never completed. negotiations continued with the north koreans. madeleine albright, wendy sherman went to north korea in 2000 and i went with them about negotiating a deal on the missiles as well, and the negotiations went well. they went so well that bill clinton had to decide and fli ia coin at the end this presidency whether going to go to north korea or if he was going to try to finalize an arab-israeli peace agreement he and he decided for the arab-israeli peace agreement. wrong choice. he probably could have gotten the north korean agreement. george w. bush came in. colin powell wanted to pick up where clinton left off. he had his hat handed to him. he was humiliated for making
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that statement. john bolton who was in charge of nonproliferation, state department, went about leaking information that the north koreans might have a secret program to enrich uranium and there was a confrontation in 2002, and low and behold the north koreans admitted they were indeed investigating and richmond and the whole deal fell apart. the north koreans left v. npt, building reactor and tested weapons. there were other agreements wert were reached with the north koreans. in 2005 there was an agreement that was reached with the north koreans that broke and this is certainly true. the nature of that agreement is that they would stop on the plutonium reactor that they wouldn't go down the uranium enrichment path and in return they would get serious concessions. they are different deals. yes of course the regimes are different so this is important. north korea is a bizarre
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proprietary dictatorship that relies almost entirely on support from one country, china. into the food aid that it has been able to teach out of the united states and other countries and the un over the years. that is north korea. the deal that we are discussing now with iran i think is quite different. you know, the nature of the sanctions relief is quite different. and i just don't see that they are comfortable -- comparable. we may promise to build light water reactors if they mothballed the plant. i suppose this is possible. but i just don't see the two situations being the same coming and i don't think it is appropriate to make that comparison. i think we have to take each case on its own merit. we have to make sure we have verification, and this is something that is built into this agreement. the north koreans kicked out the
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iaea. for years we didn't know what they were doing and to this day they haven't permitted the kind of inspection that iran has routinely allowed under the government. i think we have a better sense of what the government is up to and the iranians are also not as far along in terms of their ability to build weapons. the north koreans had been working on their plutonium agreement in the 1980s coming and when they reached the agreed framework in the united states it was believed they already have enough plutonium for at least one or possibly two nuclear weapons. so that was more of an emergency situation that had to be stopped right at that second. i don't see them, but perhaps you all have something else you want to add to that. a gentle man here. >> [inaudible] >> i used to work for the state department. it seems to me the key thing
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here is congress. many members of the republican party are determined not to give president obama a victory at any cost. and i'm just worried that this agreement will get caught up in that kind of politics. what is the role of congress has to play on this agreement? its not on the treaty. at some point i guess it will be a treaty. if that's not the case? >> i don't envision this is rarely having to be a treaty that congress is nevertheless the key because this is the difference between the european sanctions and the american sanctions created the europeans pass the executive branch is the 27 or 28 foreign ministers have a meeting and they sign onto it with a stroke of the pen sanctions are there and the sanctions are gone.
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none of the national legislators are involved in this process. anything that goes through the legislative process takes much more time and has flexibility and is by design created to take time to make sure there aren't any faster changes. the american sanctions or a spiders web according to the report. i think it was a very good formulation. it's very difficult to move one without moving all. and most importantly, the key sanctions, the biggest sanctions or architecture that go through congress. and only congress can lift sanctions. if it was only executive orders, the president again with the stroke of a pen can take them away. they disappear. but if it's a congressional act only congress can undo them. and this creates a significant difficulty, because we are in an unprecedented, partisan atmosphere it appears. congress and the president
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brought us to a government shutdown which people didn't think would happen and then it happened and it almost brought us to a default without a significant repercussions of the global economy. stopping a deal with iran is nothing compared to all of that. for 34 years, there has not been a conversation on capitol hill about lifting the sanctions. at most, at the outmost generosity of the members, the conversation has been we will be ladies new sanctions for three weeks. that is the best that we have had so far. it's going to be now a completely different paradigm. you have to decide the members from both sides of the idle that will put their name on the legislature that essentially authorizes the congress to lift the sanctions. obviously this cannot come until the very end of the process. also, the iranian counter concession, which is to ratify the additional particle that
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will have to go through their parliament and the sad thing is it's visible now how the parliament is taking up bad things from congress on how to create more difficulty than just be impossible to deal with. >> but also you have to point out that not all of the sanctions will have to be lifted. the ones related to terrorism and human rights treaties only the nuclear related sanctions that are specified. they will have sanctions between them for a long time. the question is the relief that the others might get from the agency and others would be sufficient to seal the deal. >> you can correct me on this one. maybe people in the audience know better, but i understand that there were sanctions against the former soviet union that remained for some 20 years after the soviet union had disappeared.
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the political act of getting congress to reverse them is very cumbersome. the other thing that i experienced when i was working at the state department on the affairs it was when you spoke individually to the many members of congress on both sides, people were very reasonable and sensible on this issue. but when it came to a vote in a public statement, these things past by very large margins and it's clear the president and the administration strategy is to avoid another vote because even if the sanctions are -- even if it is nonbinding this is very difficult to explain to the
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iranians. just a 32nd history lesson here. in 1979, in the spring the united states appointed a new ambassador to revolutionary iran. this was a confidence building measure. something that he revolutionaries said they wanted as a sign of american goodwill. while that ambassador was submitted to tehran, congress passed a nonbinding resolution condemning the excesses of the revolutionary courts. and in tehran, people went wild. the media, everyone just went on a frenzy of denunciation and sank the nomination in terms of
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explaining as we attempted to do the embassy attempting to say that this is a nonbinding resolution we got nowhere. so yes, the possibility it's good that you raise this and the possibility of something this repeating what happened and derailing the process is still very much out there. >> we have time for a couple of more. wait for the microphone, please. >> i work over at the united states senate. my question is regarding what implications do you think this deal has for the sticking points between the united states and the iranian government you mentioned terrorism and things like that. what do you think that this signals going forward? >> i think that this was a necessary first step that we were never going to be able to have the discretion of the
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theory or hezbollah or the 500 political prisoners from the 2009 elections still being under house arrest but it would be difficult to have those conversations without a nuclear agreement. now that we have a nuclear agreement it is my hope that we can broaden the conversation. i would like to see a restoration of diplomatic relations that's not going to happen obviously for lionel. but if we have routine conversations between john kerry and javad zarif and others on a lower level that i but it does p a lot of prospects popped next month in january there is going to be a conference in geneva on serious and most likely the iranians will be there along with the saudi's and russians and others. john do you want to add anything? >> i for one have always advocated a broad agenda with iran. and it always seemed to me that
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the nuclear issue was that there were issues that were so vital to each side on issues of legality and nonproliferation, issues of national pride that this was going to be very difficult to resolve. and that would have happened is that we were -- if you pardon the expression -- holding the whole relationship hostage to the nuclear issue, which is a very tough one to go. i would say, however, that although some people within the administration agree with me in general, that line of argument got nowhere. and it's very clear that at least within the context of the p5+1 it's all new clear all the
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time, and until that issue gets -- maybe there are signs of progress and it was interesting to me for example the president spoke after this deal was reached. i didn't hear him say anything about a new beginning. what he had said in 2009. i think -- i don't know, but i suppose at this time that that would be a bridge too far in terms of this administration and they are saying look this is the major issue and this is what we are going for. >> one small thing to add. sean is right. i was in complete agreement with him that the agenda would have made things easier. now they manage to get the first deal and both sides were focused only on the nuclear issue for
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the first time. even though it hasn't resulted in that there's going to be a joint interest to expand because now they've gotten over the first hurdle and now they need a whole set of other issues in which they can collaborate on to build maximum trust, maximum confidence in order to make sure that the nuclear track is protected and as solid as possible so that the inevitable difficulties that it will run into will not derail it by making sure that they are hedging it with a couple other issues. there have been conversations on the human rights issues. it appears to have been something in regards because he was going in and out of the hotel as we were going there. i think all of that is very much positive because at the end of the day or the fact that the united states and iran could
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interview with each other in spite of their agreements, the fact that they couldn't even talk to each other exasperated not only all of their other problems but almost every other problem now when it has been normalized there is no longer going to be a headline in any newspaper if they pick up the phone and call. that is no longer news. i think the possibility is good to be quite great. it doesn't mean they are going to become friends with the two countries are going to become on a fantastic path. but they are walk away from the brink of disaster. >> that sounds like a great place to stop. i want to thank you for your questions and for coming tonight. [applause]
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held a conference on defense related topics recently including the iran nuclear deal, u.s. budget negotiations and the military's upcoming withdrawal from afghanistan. one of the participants was forwarded to provide official michelle flournoy. bumiller elisabeth of "the new york times" moderated this discussion. >> thank you all for coming. and i'm sorry that i am not nick, but here i am and i'm pulling myself together. i'm going to briefly introduce michele and phillip.
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we were all at aspen and i see a table h of these could number of people in the audience that were in considerably better weather last summer. so, michelle flournoy is the senior adviser at the boston consulting group prayer. from 2009 to 2012 she was the undersecretary for defense policy. and then she was the principle advisor to the secretary defense and the violation of the national security defense policies and oversight of military plans and operations and so forth. i interviewed her a number of times. she was very cautious. she never told us very much. she's also a senior fellow for science and international affairs committee member of the policy board. she cofounded the center for the new american security think tank that you all know and she is a member of the aspen strategy group. so, zelikow is a professor of history at the university of virginia and is also the dean
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leading the graduate school of arts and sciences. >> i'm going to put that on my resume. i like that. soon after they became a trial and appellate lawyer in texas doing for mobile justice and civil rights work. there is so much more here. he was an adviser to secretary of state condoleezza rice. when i first met him, the council of the department of state he's a member of the president's intelligence advisory board and he was for president bush and president obama and he has written a number of books. germany unified. statecraft is a good one. he wrote that with condoleezza rice and most importantly he is a member of the aspen strategy group that he directed from 2,000 to 2003. i will sort by asking michele and fill up a few questions and then i will open up to the
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audience. we are in a transitional period for american defense strategy. are there lessons? thathat is a build down from lat summer of the pentagon. are there lessons in earlier periods in history that can help guide us now? >> what don't you answer that question. >> good afternoon everyone. it's wonderful to see so many familiar faces around the table. i do think there are some lessons to be learned from our history in terms of periods like this where we are coming out of a period of war and we are facing very severe budget pressures on the defense budget. there are two lessons that come to mind. first is a strategic lesson and that is when america comes out
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of a period of war we are tempted to turn to allow the sort of isolationist impulses that have come and gone throughout history to assert themselves quite powerfully. when i look out at the world, with fundamental changes happening with new powers rising changing the key regions of asia to the middle east, turmoil in the middle east and continued challenges of terrorism, all kind of challenges, very dynamic, volatile environment and a set of problems for which it is difficult to imagine solutions without someone catalyzing an international response. to me we cannot lose sight of the fact that we are a global power and global interest and
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that american power and security depends on staying engaged in the world and shaping events that happened far from our shores. we also have still i think a unique role to play in catalyzing international action to deal with challenges that we face. so the first lesson is that we need to resist the temptation to turn inward and a way for the world are you yes, we have to focus on getting our economic house in order and pushing our domestic agenda forward. but we also have to stay engaged in the world to ensure our own prosperity in the future. the second lesson is more tactical and that is as we have come out of the war in the past, typically the defense budget goes through the drawdown and we try to balance too much of the budget on the back of the force and we end up with a hollow force. we cut readiness and modernization disproportionately. we end up with a force that
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really looks good on paper but it does not have the typical buddy that it needs in practice. as i look at this period now particularly with the straitjacket of sequestration and flexibility of these across across-the-board mandated cuts, i'm very worried that we are about to repeat the mistake of calling out the force because we are not able to manage the drawdown in the smart way that we should. in my view we need to be putting much more emphasis on pulling the resources out of an inefficient words defense enterprise and try to maintain and protect readiness and modernization for the future where we can. >> my paper begins with a paragraph that i would like to go over with some.
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it's very historically oriented. and i start with a set of four assertions all of which are paradox. before you make a first assertiothe firstassertion is te constant headlines about trouble in the world, the country is remarkably safe and secure at the moment. assertion number two. but american levels of defense spending are nonetheless still at near historical highs measured in constant dollars into various ways i get into in the paper. even the accounting for the projected cuts including the level of spending envisioned by sequestration, putting aside the method by which the cuts are affected. yes, third, these expenditures are poorly advocated and efficiency is likely to get much
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worse. that is inefficiency in the sense of expenditures that are actually not relevant to producing the effects of change or affect the material conditions we care the most about in the world. therefore, fourth, high spending and a period of low thread is biting less and less meaningful defense for situations, not so far in the future that could be more threatening than they are right now. so, i called attention in the paper i offer a theory of defense, an entropy is classical mechanics of having to deal with the degenerating amount of energy that is being put into a useful effect. and part of the argument is larger and larger parts of the defense budget are actually devoted to things that are not
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really related to very much to national defense. though of course national defense is all over the talking points that are used to defend the programs and any number of locations. so actually use all this but right after 9/11, where actually throughout the 1990s, the defense establishment has become less and less relevant to the way that the world was changing. and then after 9/11, huge adjustments have been made. these were mostly on top with marginal additional increases in spending on top of the fixed base to develop new capabilities to basically on an ad hoc way of the old capabilities that now have in turn also become a part of the fixed base and are now being cut in these inefficient ways that michele properly decries. so you have a phenomena of entropy that i get into in the paper.
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but i also make a conceptual argument in the paper about how one could orient defense strategy of on the lines of fast requirements into slow requirements and actually our whole defense posture is oriented almost on the exact opposite from the way that it should be oriented. the fast requirements call for very high readiness forces, ready for extremely high tempo operations. exhaustingly high tempo, around-the-clock, 24 hour, hyper intense operations that will probably pass their decisive moment in the first day of conflict. it won't be over, but the forces that need to be relevant to that sort of conflict needs to be fairly close and highly ready. ..
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occurred during periods of cuts and retrenchment. among the most fertile decades in the history of the american armed forces were the 1920s. not the 1930s, by the way. not interwar period as a whole but the 1920s. they were not especially fertile for creative for american army but they were highly important and creative for the navy,
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marine corps and embryonic air corps. another critical period is actually the late 1940s and 1950s, the period for instance, of the eisenhower administration which was actually dominated very much in eisenhower's view by the need to make cuts and retrenchment by essentially unlimited spending that was unleashed by the outbreak of the korean war in the 1950s. eisen huer spent much of the 1950s restraining the strategic development. in contrast, to say the era of the '20s or the era of the '50s, the 1990s i describe in my paper as having been the decade that the locust had eaten which significant adjustments were not made. it was, an indeed the kind of military industrial complex
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eisenhower warned about in 1961, really began to prove its strength and traction after the cold war ended. that of course is when the real tests began whether those institutions would endure and the answer is, very well indeed. and then the era of war we've had in the 2000s as i have said not so much really reorient a lot of foundational parts of the defense establishment but instead drafted new pieces on top of them that we're uneasily reckoning with now as that phase in our history seems to be coming to a close and a new chapter is beginning. >> okay. thank you. i'm going to move ahead because i think, are you confident that the obama administration and congress can agree on defense cuts that do not impair significantly the ability of the united states to remain the world's dominant superpower?
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>> no. i, you know, i think that there is an outline of at least a small budget deal to be had when you talk to reasonable members of both parties in congress and there are still some who belong in those, that category, you can come up with some, some mechanisms for increasing revenue and some mechanisms for restraining the, reducing entitlement costs that could at least get us to a small budget deal for the next two to three years, with some relief for, you know, to avoid another round of sequestration and so forth. whether we can see our way through the political paralysis to get there is another question
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all together. i think that, so i am by nature an optimist. i want to believe rationality will prevail but so far it hasn't. time after time in, from the sequestration, the imposition of the sequestration to the recent shut down and so forth. so i'm not confident at this point but i think the conversation we need to be having is one of raising public awareness of some of the very real costs of sequestration on national defense. i agree with phillip that, you know, there's a lot that we could extract from the defense budget and reorient it, save and spend in better ways but sequestration doesn't allow to you make cuts in a smart manner. it forces to you cut the highest priorities along with the lowest priorities. and so, to me, we've got to help
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people understand the damage to readiness that is already taking place, the ways in which we are breaking modernization programs that will be fundamental to safeguarding american military superiority and ability to prevail in the future. we've got to raise public awareness of that and congressional awareness of that because the old caucus in congress that used to hold together our national security issues is no longer. so we have to start from scratch to have this conversation and try to build support for a larger deal, not only on our own domestic economic ground but also on national security grounds. >> i agree with michelle and no one's going to lose money betting against, betting against executive congressional cooperation. let's just kind of think a little bit about, suppose you thought it could possibly be
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fixed. actually the basic processes conspire to make it very difficult to fix it. the way we do strategy now, one reason this worked to some degree in the cold war there was a broad degree of consensus over relatively stable objectives that we were working toward and then you had lots of arguments on the margins. that stable consensus about what it is we're actually trying to do in national defense is pretty badly broken and without a clear vision to replace it, naturally then everyone just basically defends their camp. so how are defense strategies devised now? in effect they're devised from the bottom up in both the pentagon and in the congress in a sense. in the pentagon requirements are generated through a process that michelle understands better than i do and i've tried. but i will tell you that by the time that process would reach the level of say michelle, it's
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not fully baked but it is pretty substantially baked. it is not impossible for a gifted bureaucrat at michelle's level to intervene to move that process but it is challenging because at that point an awful lot of bargains have already been struck. a lot of things have already been put in place. it gets very hard even within the pentagon leadership to fundamentally reorient the posture. meanwhile in the congress a parallel process is happening except it originates in congressional districts and with constituents and constituent enterprises and works its way up through individual congressman. so at the top level, let's say we decry an absence of leadership. suppose they actually wanted to exert leadership. i wanted you to see among the most highly motivated congressman and secretaries of defense or undersecretaries of defense the system makes it extremely difficult to make agile, strategic moves or
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reorientation. now i think by the way it is not impossible to beat this. if you had a very high degree of clarity at the top and that clarity was shared with key congressional leaders, brought in a deep way in your strategic contemplations. which is, i perhaps, has occurred in recent years but i have not seen it where you're actually bringing in key committee chairs into the formative stage of national defense strategy and then working back from that consensus backwards to drive your respective processes. then maybe there's a chance. if you conclude there is not a chance entropy will win and strategic adjustment will only occur adding in further marginal spending on the top and then we'll be inevitably frustrated how much it seems we're having to spend for so little apparent effect. >> i would like to jump in on this i don't disagree with the
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notion that there's a lot of bureaucratic inertia that drives how the department of defense definds its requirements and even, you know, its sense of strategy but i think, i have seen occasions when top-down leadership and intervention has really shifted the course and i think we saw that with the development of the strategic guidance in 2012 where once the congress passed the budget control act of 2011 which cut $487 billion out of the defense department for the next 10 years, we had a fundamentally new resource constraint and rather than just asking you know, people who work, who write strategy in the department to go, you know, try to figure this out, the president actually said, you know, this requires some fundamental rethinking and we need to do this as a group of
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leaders. and so he asked the secretary, the chairman, all of the chiefs, all of the service secretaries, combatant commanders could tom spend three multiple hour meetings in the cabinet room as a group. check your parochial hat at the door to the extent that's possible but really, you know, engaged with the leadership in active way to recraft the strategy and that strategy was, helped articulate the rebalance towards asia. continued emphasis protecting our interests in the middle east. it talked about taking the, taking risk in areas of, you know, on prolonged counterinsurgency. that we were going to reduce some of our ground forces coming out of the two wars. there were whole emphasizing, partner engagement, protecting investment in critical areas from cyber to intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance to special operations force,
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autonomous and robotic systems, et cetera, there was just a whole range of priorities that came out of that exercise and it was truly top-down driven and then that became sort of the bible for the next round of the budget enterprise. more than any other strategy to budget exercise i've seen, and i've been through many, i have the scars to show i've been through many qdrs and such, you know, that strategy, that strategic bide dance -- guidance drove real shifts in the budget. maybe that is the exception that proves the rule. it is possible with senior leader engagement. what i didn't see was that in depth engagement of congressional leadership which you talked about which i do agree is necessary to really rebuild a bipartisan consensus where we're trying to go with defense. >> actually, i share michelle's positive remarks about the defense strategic guidance though i played no hand in
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crafting it but i think it is in many ways an admirable document but then in some ways you can use it as a benchmark defense which you assess the actual changes that are apparent in the force posture of the united states and the relevance of, you know, x-amount of, x billions of dollars against the nominal objectives posited in the defense strategic guidance and then form an estimate of apparent enthrowpy. >> let me move on to news. i'm going to ask you both about the iran deal. hard to imagine, phil, if you're at the state department, when you were advising condoleezza rice. >> forgive me, actually the origins did happen when i was at the state department. >> okay. >> i do mean that quite seriously. the origins of this move were in the spring of 2006. >> that's true, that's true. >> remember, what happened, which was actually hotly criticized at the time by many
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of the same people participating in today's debate. it is worth keeping this in mind, if i can strike a bipartisan note appropriatefor the setting of the aspen institute. in spring of 2006 was the big move of the united states offer to initiate with no preconditions negotiations with islamic republic of iran, even while iranian operatives were killing americans in iraq and so on. and they did that in a p5-plus-one process. because of that move, which the iranians substantially spurned, the united states was then able to get the foundational u.n. security council resolutions that have been the premise for everything that has happened in the last seven 1/2 years. resolutions by the way at the beginning of 06, everyone told us we could not get. and are then the building framework for the global coalition is by the way an astonishing bipartisan diplomatic achievement.
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begun in 06. carried forward with great effect bit obama administration. this includes stuart levy at treasury and his successors with other officials at treasury. if you think about the global coalition, that has crippled the iranian economy, and the geopolitical significance of that coalition, and that that coalition has been created and has endured for seven 1/2 years to the, to reach to the present moment, that's an extraordinaire bipartisan accomplishment that i think has received very little notice and many of the critics today were the critics of the initial move in the spring of 06. it is worthwhile to remember how much bipartisan work and work by professional bureaucrats has been involved in erecting the coalition we have today as we contemplate what diplomacy we need to sustain it and sustain the momentum behind it. >> let me ask you. so let me ask you, what do you make of the criticism today from democrats in congress, chuck
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schumer, from israel and others and, michelle also, and what do you think are the prospects for a long-term deal? >> i'll be glad to start and michelle can help me with understanding these folks in washington because i'm a professor in charlottesville, virginia, and, these things in washington often befuddle me. but, the, look, from the point of view of the israeli and saudi government, talking about the israeli government, why should the israeli government praise this deal? what's in it for them? why should they say anything good about it at all? i can't think of a reason why. even if they thought it was a good deal on the merits why should they say so? i don't see anything in it for them from saying so. they have both sides of this deal. they can denounce the deal. the united states still has
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important military relationships with the state of israel that are effectively in my view unperturbed by this public froth that will continue including undertakes and understandings about what the united states will do to protect our common security interests that might be threatened by iran that are unaffected by the israeli denunciation of the diplomacy, which helps them at home and hedges against things that might go wrong in that diplomacy. so, and then i notice a lot of other people who are concerned about and negative about iran, making statements that say, i don't trust iran, in effect. and who does? but, again, i kind of study the politics of this and the percentages and the different plays and i therefore have some empathy. i notice very carefully when people say they support new sanctions but the sanctions would be held in abeyance or made conditional on waiting to
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see whether or not we fail to get a final deal and the sanctions might then be put on a suspense so they would only go into effect after the efforts to get a final deal have failed. if you study what's involved in the interim measures you will see how much iran's good faith is going to be tested just by all the activities they're going to be put in play under the interim measures. so i, i understand the current debate. i view it somewhat philosophically. where i think the real rift go 6 geopolitically between the united states government and some others is here on this point. which is that, the united states is currently demonstrating in syria, that if its wmd concerns can be settled effectively, that the united states will take military intervention in the conflict off the table. syria is becoming a test case for that proposition.
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watch closely by everyone in the middle east including iran. in effect the same message is being communicated on iran. that is, if you take the wmd concerns settled, take them effectively off the table and do so in a trustworthy way we're prepared actually to let you come back into the international community and drop sanctions confident your own internal handicaps will limit your effectiveness in that realm. on that geopolitical point i think there may be some disagreements with some of our friends in israel and saudi arabia because actually they regard a world which the nuclear threat is removed and iran is reintegrated into the international community free from crippling sanctions as a world they find highly disturbing. the world they would prefer ideally one which iran is indefinitely crippled by
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sanctions and nuclear threat is held in abeyance. a key variable by the way in that expectation is that the sanctions regime is extremely stable and can be relied upon to remain durable regardless what happens in the diplomacy. i do not share that optimism. i believe had the obama administration spurned a deal like the one they accepted, it would be difficult to hold the sanctions regime together. then as the sanctions regime begins to collapse, options will narrow and we will find ourselves on a path in which the option of war becomes increasingly evident. and by the way i think some of the others involved in this debate have perfectly well-analyzed this dynamic and have come to their positions accordingly. >> let me just add. i think what's been agreed in geneva a first step and first step only. it is not the comprehensive deal and it should not be judged as such. the real purpose of this, what has been agreed in gene navy
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have, to insure while we try to negotiate a more comprehensive, permanent agreement with iran to prevent its acquisition of nuclear weapons and back in compliance with the npt, while doing that negotiation they're not continuing to make progress in the nuclear program. they're not charging ahead and amassing more enriched material in building a plutonium reactor and so forth. this was really designed to halt and some areas like the 20% enriched-uranium which was most worrisome rolled back the program and put some time on the clock. i think, it is's as philip said, taking this first stretch and willing to negotiate is absolutely essential to maintaining the unity of the international community, to uphold sanctions and to keep the pressure on. if the united states appaired
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simply unwilling to take the diplomatic route seriously it's a fantasy to think we could maintain the sanctions regime we so carefully and successfully constructed. so in my view, you know, whether or not we will get a good deal, it is still possible but still unknown. we will see over the next six months what i will anticipate will be very tough negotiations, and that those negotiations will be helped in my view, by the continued threat of making the sanctions regime even more punishing if negotiations fail. and by keeping all options, including military options on the table. that threat of coercive measures needs to be clearly in iran's
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mind to continue to get them to be serious at the negotiating table. the very minimal relief that has been provided, six to seven billion dollars of access to frozen assets, is not breaking the sanctions regime. it is not, the financial sanctions, the oil sanctions, that have brought the iranian economy to where it is today will remain in place. people have to understand that. i do think that there is concern in the region about u.s.-iran deal or p5-plus-one iran deal that would sort of relief the pressure on iran simply in exchange for nuclear compliance without giving enough attention to iran's destablizing behavior
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throughout the region, its support for terrorist groups from hamas to hezbollah and so forth. i do think that's a concern. i think the administration is aware of that concern and i think that they will continue to take, to focus on and take action against iran's support for terrorism as well as its nuclear, its nuclear activities. >> moving on to another conflict area, the east, china's announcement over the weekend of east china sea air defense identification zone, does this increase the conflict of, the possibility of conflict between china and japan over the island and as i was walking, as i was taking a taxi over here, i saw there was just a, a news alert from my desk in new york saying that a b-52 bombers flew over disputed island in a show of force so i would like to ask you
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about that. >> my understand is the b 52 flights were part after planned exercise and u.s. made clear it would not comply with the new kind of rules and regulation that is china had asserted with regard to this unilaterally declared zone. i do think it is, it's another example of, provocative behavior. my own concern is that it does raises the risk of miscalculation. to the extent we've had any real danger of miscalculation in recent years with regard to military activities in and around china, it has been in the air, when the u.s., you know been patrolling in international airways. there have been times when chinese air defense fighters have scrambled and in some cases operated in a verying a agressive manner that increased
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the risks of accident. my worry is that, if you now have chinese fighters scrambling and consistently intercepting japanese or korean or other aircraft in any kind of aggressive or assert tiff way you're by definition increasing the risk of someone being too much of a hot dog, someone not being safe, someone taking a risk at the tactical level that then suddenly becomes a strategic crisis, you know, another p3 skint or something like that. i think this is an unnecessary provocation. what really needs to happen is some serious negotiations among the parties that make claims to these island and steps to ratchet back the tensions, not be escalating them in this manner. >> okay. let me move on to the last questioning, then i will open to
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the audience. about the defense strategy in the middle east and in asia. should the united states slowly decrease its commitments in the middle east as people have suggested and then at the same time, enhanced or increased its commitments in asia as part of the so-called pivot? >> i'm a firm believer that our, that in the rebalance, meaning that, as question have relatively more bandwidth available coming out of two long ground wars in the middle east and south asia, we need to pay more attention to the asia-pacific because it is the region that will most affect our prosperity and our security long term but that does not mean we take our eye off the ball in the middle east. it does not mean we abandon our partners and allies there. the united states has long been a power that has been able to
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walk and chew gum taint. we still have -- at the same time. we still have vital interests in the middle east even as our own energy picture at home changes. we need to maintain our forces there for deterrents, for crisis response, for building capacity of our partners and friends. the rebalance was never cast as a pivot away from the middle east to asia. it was a relative increase in our attention to asia and to the fundamental changes that are happening there, adapting our posture to those changes while we still stay engaged in a key region like the middle east. obviously as we come out of, we came out of iraq as we are reducing our posture in afghanistan, as we come towards 2014, the number of ground forces in the region is going to be changing but our air and naval presence, our engagement with our partners and allies, our commitments to those key
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countries, should not and i don't believe, they will not change in my expectation. >> it's worth getting into a little bit though, what are the conflict scenarios either in the middle east or east asia? and then what's the relation of american defense boss tour -- posture to those scenarios? in the middle east and east asia, for instance, i have concluded that i do not believe the united states needs to prepare itself to conquer, occupy and hold large land areas on the eurasian land mass. that does not mean it may not need to have military capabilities but the notion that the united states would prepare for a land invasion of china and holding large territory in china as a serious military scenario? no. nor do i believe by the way that the united states need plan to
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conquer, occupy and hold north korea. even in the event of a korean war. therefore that drives the kinds of force posture you begin it think about in the middle east. i do not think the united states needs to plan to be able to say, conquer, occupy and hold all or much of the country of iran, even in the event of a war with iran. now i know it's, seems scary to even talk about these contingencies but decisions involving many billions of dollars will come from talking about contingencies. so you have to think about what it is we want to be able to do and don't want to be, or don't need to be able to do, at least not quickly. now what do we need to be able to do quickly in the middle east? or in east asia? we need to have formidable military capability, principally at sea and air that can deter and defeat rapidly any potential opponent, largely with forces on hand or available within hours,
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at most a couple of days. those are fairly demanding readiness requirements. if you examine our forces, very small fractions of our total forces are able to meet those readiness requirements either in the navy or in the air force in both the middle east and east asia. in a way we have a base structure overwhelmingly centered on the united states, when we need a base structure much more projected outward. yet that can an allow us to get much more effect from larger -- smaller force structure. . .
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>> but you can see that when you narrow it down to that, when you're basing infrastructure and your overseas presence is remarkably slender, concentrated on one or two key assets, that's actually not a stable position for a conflict in which maximum readiness is ever more at a premium. >> okay. so yeah, great. put your name tag sideways, and i guess i'll just start over here. guy swan. >> guy swan, retired u.s. army. it would appear in today's paper that we're reliving the lessons of iraq as we try to negotiate a withdrawal from in follow-on
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force from afghanistan. some of us that participated in some of that with the maliki government are kind of seeing this happen again. what would your advice be with to the administration on dealing with the karzai government as we go forward to 2014? >> patience. [laughter] you know, it's, this is maddening. but, you know, i think the important thing is to focus on what is in the u.s. strategic interest. i think a long-term strategic partnership that supports the afghan state and afghan institutions like the armed forces gaining self-sufficiency, independence, capacity is in our interests for all the reasons we lived through on 9/11.
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i think that is, can be done at a reasonable level of investment. and, you know, i do believe and i share the view that if we're going to have americans on the ground in afghanistan, we have to have a security agreement that insures that they fall under u.s. legal protections, not subject to afghan law. that has always been a red line, and i think it's an appropriate red line. but i also think we heard from the afghan people via the low ya jirga that most of afghan's leadership including i would say just about if not everybody presidential candidate that is running for election early next year wants the u.s. and the international community to stay. so i would hope that even if karzai persists in his very frustrating tactic of delaying or saying he's not going to sign
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the bsa despite the results of his own process, that we will, you know, proceed. obviously, you have to plan for the worst case of total withdrawal, but that we would seek to maintain some flexibility to work with the new government to quickly put a framework in place to allow what's in the strategic interests of both countries -- which is a modest, continued presence and for assistance -- to allow that to happen. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> good morning. thank you to the institute for inviting me. i'm the new defense be attache from -- [inaudible] i understand quite well that the u.s. strategy is going to be more focused on asia and pacific. and the question is about nato. we have on the one hand say
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pacific and asian countries. on the other hand, we have european and atlantic countries. do you think that nato needs to be transformed? and when i say transformed, deeply transformed beyond 2014 once the conflict in afghanistan is going to be, in brackets, solved? and if that is the case, what should be from your point of view the role of the united states within nato? thank you. >> i do think nato remains extremely important and relevant for the united states. it is the first place we turn to for allies and partners in anything we do not only in the europe, but anywhere in the world. my biggest concern is in the declining investment within nato, in defense and national
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security capabilities, and, you know, and so i do think the alliance needs to think about how will we sustain a reasonable level of investment in our capabilities for the future at a time when that's not popular for many pollties inside europe, and and how do we get more bang for the buck or more bang for the euro that we do invest in terms of greater codevelopment, sharing, pooling of resources to develop the capabilities we need. if each nation of they toe, each member -- nato, each member, you know, cuts its, reshapes its defense forces under budget pressure simply along national lines, you will sub-optimize what the a alliance as a whole has available. we have got to have a more coherent picture of the capabilities the alliance needs
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across the board, and how do we invest together to insure that we have those even though not every nation may have, be able to afford be every capability. -- afford every capability. >> um, nato is a creature of its member governments. it is not merely a vessel because it both adds enabling capabilities and synergies beyond what any of them could do alone or without prior planning, so i -- and i agree with michelle's observation. but fundamentally it comes back to what do the member governments care about. i mean, if they don't care about asia, if they don't care about what's happening in a lot of these other countries, you know, meetings in brussels are not going to make them care. it has to do with the role that countries like spain and others in nato see for themselves in the world, in the way they think
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the world ought to organize itself for common security. so, for example, we talk about, in my paper i talk about defense is fast and slow. there are some areas of extremely high readiness capabilities where nato member states may think that they can make a contribution to a defense purpose they share. and you can try to notice those and analyze those including in the european mediterranean reese or in the persian gulf -- region or in the persian gulf. but also there are capabilities that need to gather slowly. nato has been focused quite a lot on afghanistan. i think we're still very early in actually drawing the lessons from afghanistan that we can use in mali. in nigeria. in yemen. in somalia. countries where actually the mix of national contingents involved are not just the united states and vary quite a lot. common operational concepts, common learning about how cowe
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give advice and -- do we give advice and support? a lot of areas that involve security but not uniform military forces. frankly, i think we're very slow along in learning the lessons from the last ten years of bitter experience in afghanistan and iraq in thinking about the kind of advise and assist capabilities that we need for the future. in some ways we've made more headway in learning these lessons from experiences in latin america, in places like colombia, that those are not as well digested. >> michael hirsh. >> this question is for michelle. um, it was said at the beginning of the second term that chuck hagel was selected as defense secretary and you were not in part at least because there was this view of the president and the administration that they wanted to move away from more of
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a military type foreign oil and more toward a diplomatic one. or as it was described to me at the time, we want to demilitarize our foreign policy, and you had a very forward-leaning point of view as it was perceived whereas hagel was seen as of a different view. first of all, is this assessment at all accurate? and second, what's happened in the ensuing months in terms of where they have gone on policies from iran to afghanistan as we were just discussing, does that, in fact, reflect this far more diplomatic and less military aapproach? >> i, i don't have a window into the president's decision making, but i, your explanation does not ring true to me, to my ears. i think chuck hagel has been close associate of president obama's since their time in the senate. of he served on the president's
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intelligence advisory board. i think there was a lot of discussion in the first term about finding a place for chuck hagel in the president's cabinet, and i think that that, you know, that discussion was naturally renewed when there was an opportunity to bring new people into the cabinet in the second term. so i think that is the president's, you know, friendship and respect for chuck hagel is what drove the decision more than anything else, at least i'm not aware of any other factors than that. >> well, if i could just quickly follow up. i mean, does the -- [laughter] does the posture of this administration in terms of the demilitarization of foreign policy, if you would put it that way, concern you at all? >> i, um, just to be clear on my own views, i'm not a big proponent of the militarization of u.s. foreign policy. i am a proponent of having a very strong military instrument
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to support our foreign policy goals. i think, you know, during a period of war, um, because you have tens of thousands of americans in harm's way on the ground, the voice of the department of defense in foreign policy decision making naturally becomes how louder relative to s of peace when you don't have many, many americans in uniform in harm's way. and i think it is a, it's appropriate. it's important that that voice be heard when so much is at risk and at stake in human terms. but i think that, um, that, you know, even those in, you know, the senior leaders in uniform would agree that the military voice should not dominate those circles. it needs to be heard, it needs to be informing the debate. in my experience in the three
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years that i served in, with president obama, this is a president who has no problem hearing dissenting views. in fact, you know, woe be to the person who's scowling in the back row. you will be called on and asked if you have -- [laughter] a dissenting view if you look like you have one. so, i mean, this is a president who seeks out the full range of views because he believes he makes better decisions that way. so, again, i think that, um, you know, dod has an important voice in those deliberations. i don't know anyone who believes that it should be the dominant voice under any circumstances, including me. >> a two-part question for phil and, michelle, feel free to join in. just to follow up on your point about expanding, not contracting the u.s. global basing structure, the strategic logic
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to that is very compelling. but talk a little bit about the poll ticks and policy -- politics and policy dimensions of that. obviously, africom does not have a headquarters in africa because it's hard to find a stable democratic government to host, you know, that headquarters. our policy towards bahrain is, obviously, influenced by the presence of the fifth fleet. so other than the expansion of military presence in australia, how would you work the global politics of that? but a second question would be how do you describe the strategic environment of the next, you know, 10-20 years? we've gone through a bipolar cold war to a unipolar moment. are we now back to i think what samuel described as uni- uni-multipolar, you know, environment that we'll be
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confronting over the next, you know, in the era of the current cycle of defense and national security planning? >> [inaudible] the need for basing structure overseas is mainly driven by areas where you think you need powerful, very high readiness forces nearby. those are principally the middle east and east asia. so then you want to look very hard at all your basing options this those two regions. without sort of going countrity country and island by island, what i can say is this: what you look at is do people in the region want your help? do today think it is in their interest to have powerful, highly-capable forces nearby in order to provide them with the measure of security theyty they need this partnership -- they think they need in partnership with you?
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if the answer to that is yes, opportunities begin to arise for all kinds of constitutions that then can evolve over time in different configurations this different ways. again, the united states is not going to be helping to provide additional security in regions where to one wants america's help. but i don't think that that's the case for the two regions i've mentioned. now, the second part of your question actually has very much to do with the concept of what does it mean when you talk about defense slow. i think the dominant problems, actually, the dominant issues in this phase of world history are increasingly transnational in character rather than international. that is, they're defined less by blocks of powers as they were over much of the last three and a half centuries. and defined more by issues that actually cut across societies and are not easily categorized as either foreign or domestic, though they present a domestic face to the seem in the
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countries. against many of these kinds of robs, by the way -- problems, by the way, transnational crime whether it's cross-border crime that's killing thousands in mexico or transnational terrorism that's killing hundreds in afghanistan, those sorts of transnational public order problems are among the problems for which you need very powerful defense capabilities, but that can be generated slowly and patiently over time. that's a very different kind of force structure with different kinds of needs for overseas presence and political relationships. and i, frankly, i don't think we've given enough thoughtful attention to what's the ideal force posture to achieve that. >> i had a footnote. i think we should be careful not to equate u.s. posture forward or overseas with u.s. permanent bases. in fact, most of the innovation that's happening with the dispersal of our posture in
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areas like asia or the rebalancing within asia from being concentrated in the most to now covering down -- in the northeast now covering down to southeast asia, it is things like agree to access agreements, use of joint facilities, planned bilateral and multilateral exercises increasing the tempo of our interaction, our partner capacity building and so forth. so the only measure should not be permanent bases, it's really the work that we're doing and the rotational base of forces that are, you know, passing through a region, bolstering deterrence, reassuring allies and so forth. >> we've got about ten minutes left, so what i'm going to do is take the next, to get everybody in, i'm going to have groups of questions. so let me hear from gordon adams,mitzi, and then i have
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another group of four. >> thank you. got a lot of questions, but be i think the fundamental one is i'm increasingly curious about the relationship between budgets and planning and planning and budgets. and i'm wondering if where we are is really taking both of these fully into account this the context of -- in the context of a new world. and what i mean by that is specifically to what we have been with talking -- been talki. whether a safer, i'd like phil to talk a little bit more about how a safer and more secure world for the united states that he describes is consistent with what seems to be a relatively aggressive, forward-leaning posture about putting american forces even her forward. and i'd like to hear more about that. the second thing is i'm curious about language in terms of planning especially this
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constrained resources. the word this lahr and i want to ask -- in particular is the peening of the -- the meaning of the word shape. we use this word freely in doing defense planning and general national security planning. it's not clear how useful it is either in are vieding a guideline -- providing a guideline for policy and budgets or whether it's a realistic capacity that the united states has vis-a-vis other regions of the world in this new world. and be the third piece is readiness for what. i'd like to hear them both talk about readiness for what. because you talk about readiness, but for what is the question that phil slightly addresses, and i'd like to have michelle address it too. >> okay, mitzi? >> i want -- yesterday i was at a meeting -- oh, i'm sorry. yesterday i was at a meeting at csis, and one of the comments that was made was when we have a state department plan and a
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defense department plan, how do we get a national plan? that's sort of the first question. and i want to build on what gordon said about language. i was talking to lee gunn about a month ago, a retired navy admiral, and i said how would you change the navy? and he thought for a moment and said, you know, language matters. because in the navy we man the ships. so you start with the ships, and then you figure out what you might do with them. so i'm just passing that on. >> and sean. >> yes. my question is a plea for specificity on some of the comments that you both opened with. michelle, how do you avoid a hollow force? i mean, what major programs, you don't need a long-range strategic bomber or only two legs of the nuclear tripod, you
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know, how do you avoid the hollow force and make the necessary -- i hate to use the word cuts because where i come from, a reduction in planned future increases in spending is not a cut. but, and then, and philip, aside from reading between the lines, it seems you want to abolish the army. could you be a little more specific about how you get from here to there? what changes, you know, other than the basing and the two different types of readiness, i mean, what does that mean in terms of a force structure? what role is there for the army in that kind of rapid response force projection scenario? >> if i could tell you to make sure you keep your answers succinct because we've got four more people and five minutes. [laughter] thanks. >> i'll organize my answer in this way to mitzi, you obtain a
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national plan when you have both leadership and a clear vision of what you're trying to do. otherwise the agencies are on their own. i'm sitting next to brent scowcroft, and i never saw a better model of how to do national planning coddling together from what different agencies do. i learned at his knee when i was just out of britches. [laughter] to gordon adams, readiness for what, united states record, of course, in predicting where and what kind of wars it are fight, five or even ten years and sometimes even one year ahead of time is terrible. nearly zero. so you have to have a certain flexibility in what you're preparing for. that said, not all regions of the world are of equal concern. and so then the safer world and the reason that that's consistent with the kind of budget approach i'm talking about is i'm imagining a force that is actually more reassuring
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because it is readier though its overall structure is smaller. instead of having to generate, you know, ten times the force so that one-tenth of it is available on station. i'm also imagining a world in which you invest in your strategy and your force structure while times are safe so that you are readier and have a more useful force structure when times are not safe. now, to shaun's point then, does that mean that i'm specifically calling for the abolition of the united states army? i am not. indeed, my remarks are no more radical than those uttered by the secretary of defense robert gates literally standing in the very throbbing, beating heart of the u.s. army, the environs of the united states military academy in west point in 2011. and if you go through my paper, i make some arguments about the logical implications of gates'
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vision. >> so, gordon, i would agree with the fact that the word "shape," shape the international environment means all things to all people. so for me, the most important elements are deterring adversaries from mischief or aggression, reassuring arter ins and allies of our -- partners and allies of our commitment to them, and, you know, working with allies and partners to build their capacity to contribute to regional and international security. you know, i agree with a lot of phil's comments about readiness for what. we can't predict specifics, but i think the mission manies of the u.s -- missions of the u.s. military have been fairly consistent there being able to deter and defeat aggression against our allies, crisis response, counterterrorism ask so forth on down the list. that's just a sampling, not the full list. to mitzi's point about, you know, again, i agree with the importance of thinking whole of
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government or from a national strategic basis when we plan. i think the one practical wrench i'll throw in the works is that when you have gross resource imbalances between there's a colleague of mine that used to say, you know, you have a defense department on steroids, at least it used to be. not so much anymore, but defense department on steroids and state and aid on life sport support, you -- support, you may have a beautifully integrated plan at conception, but when it goes up to the hill to be resourced and you get a third of what you asked for on the civilian side and 110% on the military side, the plan doesn't look so integrated or coherent anymore. and then on a hollow force, i do hi there's a lot -- think there's a lot that needs to be done in the defense reform domain. reducing excess be overheld, taking down the 20% of infrastructure that our military leaders don't think they need
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anymore. truly overhauling our acquisition system to get more bang for the buck and addressing compensation, unsustainable compensation costs. you know, you have a force that's about 1.3 million today, about the size it was in 2001. that same force because of up sustainable o&m and be personnel costs costs twice as much as it did ten years ago. we cannot stay on that trajectory. so that's the first place i would go to battle a hollow force. >> okay. a lightning round. we have bill lynn, kai aye -- ambassador negroponte and marvin kalb, in that recorder. >> just quickly, philip, i wanted to pursue your historical analogy. you mentioned the '20s and the '50s as positive elements.
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you can find negative ones as well. task force smith in korea, the drawdown after vietnam to the hollow army. where i would go is i might broaden your conclusions that what you come to is that the stakes and a drawdown are higher. that budget scarcity forces choices and that in budget scarcity it's critically important to get them right. if you agree with that, i would go -- and this is sort of the question assertion -- is most important step we can take now is to get some kind of budget deal that michele talked about at the beginning not just because we need to get rid of sequester because there's a crazier way to do budgeting i'm not aware of it, but also we need definition this terms of budget planning -- in terms of budget planning so that dod can force those hard choices? because without that definitioning, people are always going to think relief is just
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over the next budget hill, and the institution will be unwilling to make those choices. >> [inaudible] >> thank you. with regard to michele's comment -- [inaudible] i spent some time there, i think you're absolutely right in saying look beyond the frustrations of the day and see what are the strategic interests here. breathe deeply, lower the shoulders -- [laughter] no pressure. and no artificial deadlines. i think then it is going to work. readiness for what? >> we are going to leave the last few minutes of this discussion. you can find it online, c-span.org, take you live now to the american enterprise institute for remarks by connecticut governor dannel malloy seated there. he'll be talking about education policy. [inaudible conversations]
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>> hey, good afternoon, everyone. we're going to go ahead and get started. hey, how you doing this afternoon? i'm rick hess, director of education policy studies here at the american enterprise institute. happy to welcome all of you to join us today for this promising and, i think, intriguing conversation with connecticut governor dan malloy. delighted to have those of you who are here with us and also those of you watching at home either via live stream or on c-span2. the hashtag for the event is hashtag ct ed reform, that's capital ct ed reform. feel free to follow along or join in.
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we are going to be going for an hour, until 2:30. format's going to be pretty straightforward. first, governor malloy, dan malloy of connecticut, has been kind enough to agree to share some thoughts on the dos and don'ts of school reform in connecticut, what are some of the lessons they've learned as they have tackled this work. i'm going to then have an opportunity to chat with the governor for 15 or 20 minutes, ask him a couple of particular questions about some of the unfolding challenges, teacher quality, teacher evaluation, common core, subjects that one might expect to arise, and then we're going to open it up for conversation and q and a. governor malloy was first elected governor of connecticut in 2007, took office this january -- in 2010, took office in jan 2011. he's connecticut's first democratic governor in 20 years. upon taking office, he faced the largest per capita deficit in the country, a total debt of about $3.5 billion. before taking office he did several terms as mayor of
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stanford, connecticut, from 1995 to 2009, and what's particularly relevant to us today for this conversation is promising to make 2012 the year of education in connecticut, he tackled a reform agenda in a state that has long been known for one of the nation's widest racial achievement gaps. and the governor took the lead in passing one of the nation's more dramatic education bills. signed it in may 2012. it was public act 12116, an act concerning education reform. some of the package's most significant features required a new teacher evaluation pilot in which 45% of the evaluation would be based on student learning. the governor's package created a commissioner's network similar to the recovery school district in louisiana which has the ability to take authority over 25 of the state's lowest performing schools. to date, 11 have been entered
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into that network. and it increased per-pupil charter school funding to $10,500 in fiscal 2013, ask that figure will go to $11,500 by fiscal 2015. with that, let me turn the mic over to connecticut governor dan malloy. governor, it's all you. [applause] >> thank you, rick. it's great to be with you. i appreciate the opportunity to speak about an issue that's very tear the my heart, one that i -- dear to my heart, one that i have spent most of my public career working on both as mayor of the city of stanford, but before that as a member of the board of finance in the city of stanford, mayor for 14 years and now as governor of the state of connecticut. i'd like to talk about what really needs to happen in the united states and put it into an appropriate context. we've been at the business of educating on a public basis, our
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children, for a long, long time. but if you look at the rhetoric that's frequently used around education issues, it is old rhetoric. it's about giving children the opportunity to learn. the distribution of opportunity is what we usually measure our success by, which is interesting if you think about it. where else would you hold yourself as successful for offering for sale a product that a nobody bought? or that a substantial percentage of people failed to purchase? but in education we had this idea that all we needed to do was to offer the opportunity to all of our students to learn. thousand, that was -- now, that was -- didn't pay attention to the deficits that they might have of come to school with, didn't pay a whole lot of attention to issues such as poverty or family alignment, and
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we just kept merrily going down the same road. until, um, it really became quite apparent that in the united states we were failing to get the job done. and most starkly in comparison to test scores on similar tests amongst the various industrialized countries. and all of a sudden we found out that not only are we not leading in some categories, we are far, far, far behind. and that that ultimately will have a long-term impact on our economy. it was this belief that we had to get out of opportunity sharing into success sharing that has driven much of what i talk about on education. and, or therefore, if you start to think about that, it actually changes your whole view of education. into that i did step into a situation as was referenced by rick with one of the largest achievement gaps along racial
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lines or zip codes or type of community, however you want to describe it. tsa the reality in connecticut. -- that's the reality in connecticut. we have high highs and very low lows, and in cases they are in adjoining zip codes, so we needed to do something about that. we thesed to hold ourselves as governmental entities accountable for what we were doing on a state level, on a local jurisdictional level both on, by the leaders, the political leaders of noneducation government as well as by the leaders of the education government as it exists in the state of connecticut. and into that we have moved rather rapidly. i have to also say at the outset that i'm envious of teachers. their ability to impact on an intergenerational basis the young people and the families that those young people ultimately will raise is this unbelievable gift that many have accepted as their calling. and although we may not, none of
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us are perfect, the reality is the state of connecticut is filled with teachers who are working very, very hard to get it right. and in point of fact, are demonstrating a willingness to change methods of pretty regularly -- excuse me, accept change and support change, fundamental change, for instance, with respect to the common core where it is being embraced in the state of connecticut. i also have to say that we have to realize that teachers need the resources to be ready to do what they have to do. we're asking a lot more of them, and it's one of the reasons that in the state of connecticut we've made it, we've gone in a different direction than many states across the country. we're actually adding funds to education, particularly to fund our education initiatives. and we're concentrating much of that additional money on the lowest performing school districts in the state of
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connecticut. in point of fact, the 30 lowest performing school districts are getting the bulk of the additional monies under terms that they're not used to. it's by agreement on how that money's going to be spent. it's making sure that additional dollars will drive additional achievement in those low performing districts. i'm also fond of saying that this is very much about changing our habits. so when we sat down and looked at all of our school districts and then looked at those low performing districts, in almost every one of those low performing school districts there was at least one outstanding school. and several of them, several outstanding schools. but what you find is we're more likely to repeat our failures than we are our successes. or to put it a different way, we're more likely to explain away our successes as a way of, i suppose, adding some psychological support to the lowest performing schools in
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those districts. that's a mindset that has to change. and as rick mentioned, we are doing that. he, not only do we have an alliance of the 30 low performing districts which are getting the most intensive additional attention as well as additional monies, but we've also, as rick said, founded a commissioner's network where we are empowered to work with the 25 lowest performing schools. schools are applying to get on that list. interestingly enough. and they're applying because we have interventions which are locally committed to, locally driven, different styles of turn around at each one of these schools and, yes, some additional funds to pay for the turn around of those schools. we have a school in new haven which is basically run by the teachers and a new, experimental model which is showing great
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success. we have another school this bridgeport with a different model of operation but, again, a great degree of involvement by its teachers' union there. it's not a one size fits all assumption when it comes to turning around a low performing school or the low performing districts. but it is a lot of attention, a little bit of hand holding ask just simply getting people onboard and bringing them along. what you find out, by the way, once you intervene in a school is people really do want to do better, but they have not necessarily seen the road that will allow them to do that, and so they keep their head down. once you give them the ability to lift their head to see a target, to make progress and measure that progress, it's engaged in by more people than you might otherwise assume. i also have to say that this can't be viewed simply as a pre-k or a k-12 problem i should say. it is a re-k issue -- pre-k issue, and it's also a college issue. we have failed to properly
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prepare, in my state, a replacement work force in a state that is retiring engineers faster than it's graduating them, or retiring machinists in the aerospace industry faster than we're creating a qualified personnel for those operations, you have to make a significant change. and so pre-k, k-12, higher education are things that we are spending a lot of our time on a regular and daily basis trying to turn around and make work. how do you do it? fundamentally, you have to get a buy-in by all the stakeholders. fundamentally, you have to get a buy-in by all the stakeholders. that includes teachers i've already mentioned have this great job and responsibility in our democracy to raise up the next generation. but we also need parent buy-in. and i think too little time has been spent in giving the tools to parents to understand what's going on in school and to play an active role in turning around what's going on in school.
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i'm also fond of saying, by the way, that you're not going to get as much buy-in by parents who you have poorly educated yourself in your systems as you would like. that's a certain reality. we have, in some cases, intergenerational failure that we have to turn around. and so giving parents new tools to change those, their behaviors with respect to supportive education is very important. it's true that we have to work with the teachers, and as rick mentioned, a new system of evaluation is now being implemented in the state of connecticut. that doesn't happen easily. it's not an easy thing to get done. but the reality is, is well before the package that we passed legislatively, work had already begun in what a new evaluation system would look like. and in point of fact, that was actively participated by administrators, boards of education and teachers. now, that doesn't make a rollout
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any easier. there's a lot of confusion. i had to -- sat down or i actually had a discussion with my sister, one of my sisters-in-law yesterday, and she's a teacher. and she was complaining that to get all her data onto the system tooker about three hours to do. and i reminded her once that's, you know, once that's in, it's in. and i understood that that three hours is a lot of time to spend to build this new system on an individual basis, i understand that. but once we start this program, it will be the new way of doing things. and what's so very important ultimately is that we win teachers over on this who are, quite frankly, afraid of it. but i believe that we're making progress in the state of connecticut. i think the jargon and the discussion being used by our two associations or unions of teachers or are very important with respect to what's going on. and ultimately, embracing the kind of change that we have to
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embrace. i previously referenced $500 million in additional funding for education, but above and beyond that we're investing $24 million additionally in a technology. i mentioned to rick when we were this the holding room that one of the things that amazes me about education and government in general -- and, of course, if you look at the rollout of obamacare can, you understand that our underinvestment in technology in cases cripple les us. and certainly, as we move towards common core, having districts that don't have sufficient technology to test on common core is a great problem and one that we've decided to help address as well. common core was decided on before i was governor of the state of connecticut. i was not one of the founders of the concept, but i will tell you this, i embrace it. but more importantly than my embracing of it, based on scholastic poll or survey of teachers in the state of connecticut, 72% of teachers
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embrace it. and really only about 2% reject it, think it will not lead to better results, and the remaining folks are basically undecided about the issue. so those teachers who have studied it and thought about it and have been doing the preparatory work over the last intervening years since 2007 when it was adopted in the state of connecticut are getting it and do belief that concentrated -- do belief that concentrating on fewer things is the right way to go. i have to say additionally on all of this, you know, you have new legislative -- you have a legislative battle. you have a new legislative package. you have a new common core. of you have a new evaluation system. i understand that people think they're drinking out of a fire hose right now in the state of connecticut. and it's not easy. it's not easy. and i think that that has to be, that point has to be made clear. but once we get through this, we're going to have a very clear road to higher achievement in our schools. and we'll get away from what i
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said earlier, this concept that we simply have an obligation to distribute opportunity and hold ourselves responsible in school districts where we're failing to graduate 40% of of our students. and that's true in several of our lowest performing school districts. we need to hold ourselves, all of us -- the governor, the mayors, the boards of education, the parents, the teachers, the administrators -- need to hold ourselves accountable for what's going on in our schools. we're investing in -- a lot of money, but we need to hold ourselves accountable, and that's what i'm trying to do. and by the way, finding partners in doing that. with that, rick, i think we'll sit down and take some questions. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> terrific, governor. let's start out, last week you may have seen politico's
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stephanie simon wrote a much-discussed story on secretary of education arne duncan pointing out how challenging it has been for states to really implement so much of the agenda that the obama administration has supported; charter school expansion, school turn arounds, teacher evaluation, so many of the notes that you just hit upon. curious, are there particular points of challenge that have been surprising or more severe than perhaps you guys had anticipated? >> i think that there is a reality that -- by the way, in one of your articles in september you actually drew some of the same conclusions as i remember. it is, it's hard. and it's particularly hard if in a state like connecticut that had really taken a backseat on school reform for a long period of time. juxtaposition between massachusetts and connecticut, both leaders in education for very long periods of time.
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massachusetts had been at school reform for about 12 years before we got involved. their graduation rates went up by 4.8% of the time that ours went down by 1.8 %. we've actually turned that around already on the graduation rate side. but they had implemented a lot of things that we're trying to implement now, which means when it comes to doing common core or making adjustments to some of the improvements that they've passed, you know, as long as 12 years ago, they have an easier life than we do. we're trying to do a lot more in a lot shorter period of time, and i think it's extremely complicated. it's not complicated because the teachers did anything wrong, it's not complicated because the political infrastructure intentionally did anything wrong, but by not coming to the table, by not getting some of this done earlier as i referenced it's rather like drinking out of a fire hose. you want a new evaluation system. you know, you want a new way of
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distributing additional dollars. you want to hold people accountable for how those dollars are being spent. you want to change the tests that we're going to use to measure ourselves by, and you want to institute common core. doing all of that at once, that's a hard job. [laughter] >> you know, one of the, one of the places that has been, there's been as much tension as anywhere is over new teacher evaluation systems. obviously, in the connecticut reform package you guys pushed ambitiously to make sure that student learning was, you know, metrics, particular student achievement was a factor in student evaluation. curious how that's played out. have there been concerns on the teachers' parts, where do you have questions about how effectively this is being done if. >> there's worry. you're going from what the standard was, what they were comfortable with to something that they're not as knowledgeable about, don't really understand how it's going to work, maybe take some
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additional time, maybe leads to more people being in their classroom at different times of the year. having said that, you know, we've studied a lot of these changes in other states, and that first year is always difficult. and once people get onboard, they understand that it's not a risk to them. and point of fact, the vast majority of our teachers in our school systems are doing a great job and will be recognized as doing a great job. but we need to hold ourselves accountable, as i say, not for distribution of opportunity, but for distribution of success. and one of the ways to do that is to measure student achievement and to use that as a tool to understand how we're doing. you know, ed koch everywhere he went when he was mayor would, you know, ask people how he was doing. we didn't do that in education, and now we are doing it. >> and what do you say to parents or teachers who say, you know, i'm concerned this is putting her and more weight on reading and math tests and that
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this is distorting the purpose of schooling? >> yeah. you know, i think that -- and i, you know, i've probably used some of that rhetoric myself over the last 18 years concerned about reliance on testing. but then when you probe it, i mean, there's nobody teaching third grade spelling without doing a test every trade. there's nobody who's teaching math hattics without holding -- mathematics would holding a kid accountable for how they do on a test every wednesday in their class. that's -- we do test. i think what we're really talking about is using tests for different purposes. it's rather like using a test as a mirror. you've got to look yourself in the taste. and that's scary, that's hard, and so you need to work with your stakeholders, your teachers, their representatives, your administrators.
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but as i referenced, connecticut was working on a cooperative basis for several years before our package came before the legislature on what that would look like. in fact, one of the unions called for immediate implementation of that system even before we had started the process. i think all of us in education whether it's on the political side like myself, on the union representation side or in the classroom or by building have to speak about this a little bit more clearly. we need to have an honest and frank conversation about what we're getting at, and we have to make sure that we ultimately don't simply teach to the test. and that's why i think an emphasis on critical thinking is so very, very important. >> so in light of thinking about the role of the test, randi weingarten, for instance, the president of the american federation of teachers, has expressed concern that especially in new york we saw
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this most recently that with states transitioning to the common core tests, at the same time they're rolling out teacher evaluation systems, that teachers are going to wind up being evaluated on tests which are still being piloted or that are in that alpha and beta tase. is that a real concern? >> i think it's a real concern, i think it's a real challenge. i think we're going to get through it. i think all those things are true. i mean, i met with one of the two unions -- and actually i can't remember exactly which one, whether it was the cea or the aft, but they talked about how many teachers they have councilled out of teaching -- counseled out of teaching and have worked on making sure they help people understand where they fit in the world. i think they get it. but, you know, if connecticut had done some of these things years before, what you just described wouldn't be so difficult. but this is what we're doing to try to make it a little bit
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easier. we are giving people time to implement. this is not going to change overnight. i mean, the mechanics of what we're doing change, but we're giving people time to get used to the new system. we also gave the option to our school districts on what tests they wanted to administer this year, you know? with the common core tests coming in, we needed to get a third of the districts to use that. you know what we did? we said, hey, you want to use connecticut standard tests, you can use those. you want to use the new testing protocol? you can use that. we don't want to make you use both, so, you know, make a choice. and overwhelmingly people moved to the common core test. so they're ready for it. the school districts are ready for it. i think the teachers themselves are ready for it. that doesn't mean that you're not afraid, not scared, that it's not a challenge. it means that you have to have more dialogue, more conversation and work on it more closely together. far better a carrot than a
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stick. >> you know, one of the bright spots nationally for connecticut has been new haven. "the new york times," randi weingarten, a number of folks have commended the new haven teacher agreement with its approach to teacher evaluation, the collaboration between the district management and the union. curious from the state level how does this play out? are there lessons there that you guys were able to build upon or draw upon? >> well, one of the turn around schools that i referenced in my opening is a new haven alternative school program run by the teachers in the building. at the end of may, they told every freshman that they were not going to advance that year. every one of them. now they gave them a road map to advancement. they're all invited back to the school, and they're given a road happen to advancement, and some of them are now advancing in september and in october and in
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november, they're advancing back to their class level. but that was a decision made by teachers affiliated with the aft. randi weingarten has been very active in new haven not just in how she describes it, but also in getting it to higher engagement. doesn't mean there aren't a whole lot of people who aren't worried about change, they're still there. but you're seeing every day more and more people embracing that change. >> so on the common core which we've touched on a little bit, obviously, it was adopted by dozens of states with relatively little discussion back in '09 and 2010. we know from the gallup polling this summer that 68% of adults said, gosh, we've still never heard of this thing, but in the last few months in around we've seen an explosion of attention and concern. curious, you know, from your perch, what kinds of concerns have you heard in the state of connecticut, and how are you trying to address those? >> well, you know, you can't
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look at this in a vacuum. there are people who have grabbed the common core to try to make a political argument. political argument runs somehow that those people in washington have caused this to happen, and we should resist as well as we can implementation of common core. it runs in the face of reality, and that is a bunch of governors got together and decided that in a worldwide competition, we weren't doing very well. and we weren't educating our children to the level that we needed to do to remain competitive. had almost nothing to do with the federal government at the outset, and designing the curriculum but now is being attacked as if barack obama himself has come up with this common core. having said that, i think that i'll use the numbers, you know,
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by survey in connecticut. 72% of teachers in the affected areas -- so we're talking about math, science, we're talking about literacy -- embrace it. 72%. only 2 or 3 -- you know, depending on how the question is asked, only 2 or 3% think that it will lead to lower or worse result. and the other bunch just not taking a position. so when you have that kind of embracing of that concept and when teachers and administrators have had enough time to look at what's, what people want to emphasize, then i think they're moving in the right direction. we're certainly seeing that in connecticut. no large scale movement to delay or abandon common core. i think there's a recognition that we need to hold ourselves accountable for success. >> excuse me. as you think about the common core, what are the couple of key strengths that you think it offers? or is there anything in particular about the implementation that you're nervous about? >> um, key strengths, again, i
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think to reiterate is i think fewer things, but deeper. and the ability to use those things you're learning successfully. whether it's in support of critical thinking or whether it's simply in the mathematics arena being able to answer the question properly and get to it properly. i think that's the real strength. i think that this kind of one size fits all has not worked particularly well. you know, we'll expose everybody to everything in the hopes that we'll catch someone's fancy and that they'll decide to devote the rest of their lives to that one thing that you gave them a snapshot on, in, you know, the pre-k-12 education system. i don't think that's worked as well as we thought it was or certainly wasn't working as well as it needed to on an international basis for the
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united states. we've decided to go deeper, fewer and emphasis on critical thinking. >> and what are the keys going to be, do you think, to make sure that vision of changed instruction is delivered upon? >> well, there's a couple of things, not the least of which is, you know, we have schools and school districts that don't have the right technology to deliver that testing as well as they could. that's one of the reasons that we stepped forward just in the last couple of weeks and announced 24 million dollars additional for technology upgrades in school systems touching about 111 school districts in the state of connecticut. at the same time that we recognized that those school systems are making some of their own investments as well. but we want to support it. another thing that we've done p this the state of connecticut, for the first time we're actually budgeting continuing -- state dollars for continuing education. as we urge people to change their aroach to continuing educatio a